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on May 11, 2017
I purchased this book in order to better understand a family member whom I had recently realized was a narcissist, however I soon discovered that this was not the type of individual that the book was attempting to address. While the examples of historic high-level narcissists were definitely interesting, unless the person you are dealing with is one of these and not the more common low-level garden variety narcissist (as my family member is), the book fails to provide any real insight into dealing with them. In fact, the end of the book has a distinctly "spiritual" bent, with a heavy emphasis on Buddhism. While this may have provided the author and her clients some peace while dealing with narcissists, it came across as somewhat dishonest to me. I purchased a book to find a real, viable solution to dealing with a narcissist on a regular basis -- to "free [myself] from the narcissist in [my] life". Instead, it ended on what felt like a sales pitch for the religion of Buddhism. I don't have anything against Buddhism, but if I wanted a book on Buddhism (or any religion for that matter), I would have simply purchased one.

TL;DR: If you want a practical book to help you with a narcissist in your life, this isn't the book for you.
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on August 1, 2010
This is a book about extremist narcissists. If you are planning to marry Ayn Rand or Armand Hammer etc, buy it, there are extensive biographical examples from the lives of these extremists.

The other examples from counselling clients are similarly extreme, and a person would have to be out of touch with reality to get involved with people such as this.

I was more interested in the 15% or so of people who have degrees of narcissism, not the 0.5% who are way-out-there extreme. The book is long on extreme examples, short on day-to-day advice. Then it wanders off on some Buddhist trip......

This book was not for me, maybe it is for you, read all the reviews carefully.
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on November 17, 2008
This book has been a great eye opener for me in recognizing and learning to deal with narcissistic people in my personal life and at work. I consider myself to be quite observant but I have been fooled a number of times by the charming energy and magnetism of narcissists. I became involved with a couple of boyfriends whom I found very attractive. They were bright, fascinating, and successful in their careers. Now I understand why these relationships didn't work out. Both of these individuals are narcissists. Eventually, they showed their true selves---They are self-absorbed, feel entitled to whatever they want, don't express empathy of any kind, have feelings of superiority, and can turn verbally demeaning and cruel in an instant. After reading this book I understand narcissists:their outer grandiose persona, childhood origins of the problem, the need to manipulate and control others. The author is an expert on narcissists, writes in an engaging style, and gives many dramatic and instructive examples of narcissists in action. She gave me the tools I needed for dealing with narcissists on a personal level and at work.
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on January 8, 2010
From the time I was young my mother acted cold toward me. I always thought it was my fault. She adored my pretty older sister who could do no wrong. My sister treated me like I didn't exist. My older brother was like a prodigy---extremely bright. He teased me without mercy. He made fun of me because I didn't get straight A's like he did. Mother dominated dad (He was a workaholic and traveled most of the time)and everyone else in the house. Mother adored my sister and let her do whatever she wanted. I was the third child, the afterthought.The only attention and affection I received was from the nannies who came to the house. Some of them were wonderful to me. I was relieved to go away to college. I studied psychology and went to counseling because I was so miserable. The therapist helped me to understand that I could not blame myself for not receiving love from my mother. I was able to grieve about not having a mother who truly loved me and having to deal with the cruelty of my sister and brother. After college I began studying narcissistic personalities. I recognized that as a child I was surrounded by them. This book is one of the very best on the narcissistic personality. It is informative and engaging--a very good read. Dr. Martinez-Lewi identifies the narcissistic personality with great clarity, explains the childhood origins, gives strategies for dealing with these individuals. Her book contains fascinating and informative clinical vignettes from her practice which bring the narcissist and those who must deal with him/her to life. Highly recommended.
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on November 19, 2008
As a psychotherapist in private practice, through the years I have had many clients who are coping with the psychological pain of personal and professional relationships with narcissistic individuals. The narcissist, with his/her sense of superiority, self absorption and grandiosity, causes a lot of problems for others. Some of my clients are married to narcissists or are in relationships with them. Eventually, even those narcissists who appear to be the most charming and mesmerizing, reveal their true natures. Behind the mask, the narcissist is manipulative, controlling, and deceptive. I have worked with clients who are on the receiving end of narcissistic fury. As part of their psychotherapeutic healing, I recommend this book that identifies the narcissist in his or her glory, discusses childhood origins of this personality, and pinpoints their destructive games. The author provides a number of colorful examples from her clinical practice and offers effective strategies for handling narcissists. The book is written in an informative and engaging style. I recommend it highly to all of those who are involved with narcissists or suspect that they are. A great read!
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on February 12, 2011
I divorced my narcissistic husband two years ago. I was married to him for ten years before I realized that he was a narcissist. My therapist recommended this book. I recognized myself and all of the pain that the narcissist causes on many of its pages. I stopped blaming myself and learned about the narcissistic personality. I realized that I could never change this person and that I must divorce him to lead my own life. I read a number of books about narcissists and this one stands out as one of the best. It helped me get through a very rough time.
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on March 16, 2011
My story has a good ending thanks to what I have learned about the narcissistic personality. I have had a very difficult time understanding how a person can be both ruthless and charming at the same time. I met and fell in love with my ex-wife very quickly. She was fun, very attractive and a successful professional. We married after a few months. That's when the trouble started. She began finding fault with everything I did. She got angry and started screaming out of control. She was so charming with her associates at work and our friends when we were in public. In our home she turned into someone I didn't recognize. She was very demanding and told me how stupid I was. I tried to please her by becoming perfect. That didn't work. Her tirades became louder and more irrational. I couldn't take it and felt very stressed. I went into therapy and did a lot of research on narcissistic personalities. I finally recognized that I had married a narcissist who was never going to change. Of the many books I read, this is one of the best. In this book you meet the narcissist up close. You learn how to deal with these people and to protect yourself. I got a divorce and I have my own life now.
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on December 30, 2011
I have been reading a lot about the narcissistic personality. This is because I was treated cruelly by my cold narcissistic mother all of my life. My sister was her favorite--my mother called her a prodigy. When I was little they bullied me with their cutting sarcastic remarks. I never felt any warmth or caring coming from my mother. I don't know how I survived. I was a good student and escaped into the world of books and knowledge. This book is the best that I have read on the narcissistic personality. I recognized my mother and sister on every page. It has helped me to understand why I went through so much emotional pain, how psychologically sick these peple are and to appreciate myself as a separate and valuable person.
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on March 3, 2009
After three years of marriage I am going through an ugly divorce with Jake. I thought I knew this man. I was mesmerized by his magnetic personality and his self confidence and what I thought was his love for me. Soon after we married, I began to see the dark side of Jake. He cut me down with criticism constantly, even in front of our friends. He acted very superior, like he was the boss and I was his servant. Jake was highly deceptive and manipulated me with intimidation. He lied all the time. It was so easy for him, like he didn't have a conscience. Jake became more cold and verbally abusive. I suspected he was having an affair and I was right. After the separation, I went to therapy. My therapist has been very helpful and supportive. She recommended this book. It has been a lifesaver. I know I will get through this and move on with my life.
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on July 5, 2015
The information was informative about high level narcissistic individuals. There was a lot is stories about people's experiences with them. Always good to know what your dealing with.
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